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Is that so?

Old 08-27-2017, 01:02 PM
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Little Doe Peep
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The Zen Master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child...

This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.

After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him., but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.

A year later, the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth—that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:05 PM
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Sounds like it's so.
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:23 PM
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I don't get it........I tried to follow but alas I am left in the dust.....
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Champlain Islander View Post
I don't get it........I tried to follow but alas I am left in the dust.....
To me, this story indicates the quiet acceptance of the inevitable. Had Hakuin denied it, the girl would have made up more lies to support her story. Instead Hakuin cared for the child until the mother's inevitable need to be with her child caused her to tell the truth.

I study these stories because Shinto contains many elements of Buddhism. My husband learned Soto Zen back in his hippy days and Shinto has a meditation practice called chinkon which is pretty much identical, except that we do a ritual cleansing beforehand. The girls have learned Chinkon and we meditate together as a family or individually as well.

These stories are known as koans which are contemplated during meditation in the Rinzai school of Zen along with other problems. Hakuin is a large figure in the Rinzai school. The practice of meditation in Soto Zen and chinkon do not use koans although we study them as lessons.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:37 AM
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It looks like the master accepted the inevitable without arguing against it. It also looks like he protected a life that might not have survived otherwise. He placed a baby's welfare and life above his own reputation and ego. In doing so, he caused both the girl and parents to reconsider what is important and what is not. He was a very wise Zen master and this story provides a lot of lessons. Thanks for sharing.
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